National Health Observances

sportsman's legs sitting on the wooden floor with red sport plastic bottle, view from the top

Ways to Be Active

Ways to Be Active

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends 30 minutes of physical activity a day for adults, 60 minutes for children, at least five days a week. Sound daunting? It’s much easier than you think, regardless of your current activity level. There are plenty of ways to get moving and some may even surprise you! It’s time to be active, get healthy, and have some fun!

Being active doesn’t require joining a gym. Look for ways to increase your heart rate during your daily routine. Walk or cycle instead of taking the car or bus, or you can choose the stairs over the escalator or elevator. Try these ways to be active and start working towards your fitness goals to jumpstart or maintain a healthy lifestyle.

There are many health benefits to being active for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, but you should consult your physician before starting a new activity program. If you haven’t been active in a while, start slowly and build up. Do what you can; some physical activity is better than none.

Different Types of Physical Activity

Aerobic activities can range from 60-85% of your maximum heart rate.

  • Aerobic activities make you breathe harder and your heart beat faster. Aerobic activities can be moderate or vigorous in their intensity levels, and range from 60-85% of your maximum heart rate. A general guide to use: For moderate activities you can talk, but you can’t sing. With vigorous activities, you can only say a few words without stopping to catch your breath.

 

  • Muscle-strengthening activities make your muscles stronger.

 

 

  • Bone-strengthening activities make your bones stronger and are especially important for children and adolescents, as well as older adults.

 

  • Balance and stretching activities enhance physical stability and flexibility, which reduce the risk of injuries.

Add Extra Steps to Your Day

  • Walk the dog with the whole family.
  • Instead of calling friends, take a walk together to catch up.
  • Park your car as far away as possible so you have to walk a longer distance from your destination. Even better, walk or cycle to run errands in your community.
  • Walk up and down the field while watching your child(ren) play sports.
  • Get off the bus or subway one stop early and walk the rest of the way.
  • Replace a coffee break with an outdoor walk—or take the coffee with you on your walk.
  • Walk the golf course instead of using a cart.
  • Choose the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.

Keep Moving at Home & In the Community

Keep a list of quick activities, like squats or stretches, near the remote so that you can be active during commercial breaks.

  • Wash the car.
  • Shovel snow, rake leaves, or do yard work.
  • Plant and care for a vegetable garden (then cook the vegetables for healthy meals).
  • Find your inner child—build a snowman or rake the leaves then jump in your piles.
  • Start your day with a morning stretch or end your day with calming yoga.
  • Sign up for dance lessons with a friend.
  • Experience the Great Outdoors and go for a hike or bike ride.
  • Grab a basketball or football for a quick pick-up game at a local park.
  • Join a community sports team or league, like soccer, rugby, or softball.
  • Participate in a local road race.
  • Go swimming at your local recreation center.

Staying Active for Individuals with Disabilities

  • Children and adults with disabilities can gain numerous mental and physical benefits from being physically active on a regular basis including: reduced risk of chronic and secondary conditions, improved self-esteem and greater social interaction.

 

  • Keep in mind that individuals with disabilities are just as capable and worthy of being active as someone without a disability and the activity does not have to be strenuous to provide positive benefits.

 

 

  • Look for opportunities to be active in inclusive programs that are already in place at your local community and recreation centers, health and fitness facilities, public agencies and park departments, or sports clubs.

 

  • Having fun while being active is the key! Find activities that you enjoy and include your friends and family in the action.

 

 

  • Track your progress and earn recognition for being physically active by starting to earn your PALA+!

 

  • Always consult your personal doctor before beginning any physical activity or exercise program.

Source https://www.hhs.gov/fitness/be-active/ways-to-be-active/index.html


Heat Related Illness

Know the signs of heat-related illness and the ways to respond to it:

  • HEAT CRAMPS
    • Signs: Muscle pains or spasms in the stomach, arms, or legs
    • Actions: Go to a cooler location. Remove excess clothing. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if cramps last more than an hour.
  • HEAT EXHAUSTION
    • Signs: Heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, or fainting
    • Actions: Go to an air-conditioned place and lie down. Loosen or remove clothing. Take a cool bath. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if symptoms get worse or last more than an hour.
  • HEAT STROKE
    • Signs: Extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees) taken orally; red, hot, and dry skin with no sweat; rapid, strong pulse; dizziness; confusion; or unconsciousness
    • Actions: Call 911 or get the person to a hospital immediately. Cool down with whatever methods are available until medical help arrives.

Source https://www.ready.gov/heat


Risks of Indoor Tanning

  • The United States Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization’s International Agency of Research on Cancer panel have declared ultraviolet radiation from the sun and artificial sources, such as tanning beds and sun lamps, to be a known carcinogen (cancer-causing substance).9        
    • Research indicates that UV light from the sun and tanning beds can both cause melanoma and increase the risk of a benign mole progressing to melanoma.
  • Indoor tanning equipment, which includes all artificial light sources, including beds, lamps, bulbs, booths, etc., emits UVA and UVB radiation. The amount of the radiation produced during indoor tanning is similar to that of the sun, and in some cases might be stronger.
  •  Evidence from multiple studies has shown that exposure to UV radiation from indoor tanning devices is associated with an increased risk of melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer, including squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma.
    • Researchers estimate that indoor tanning may cause upwards of 400,000 cases of skin cancer in the U.S. each year.
    • Higher melanoma rates among young females compared to young males may be due in part to widespread use of indoor tanning among females
  • Using indoor tanning beds before age 35 can increase your risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, by 59 percent; the risk increases with each use.
    • Women younger than 30 are six times more likely to develop melanoma if they tan indoors.
    • Research demonstrates that even people who do not burn after indoor tanning or sun exposure are at an increased risk of melanoma if they tan indoors.
  • Even one indoor tanning session can increase users’ risk of developing melanoma by 20 percent, squamous cell carcinoma by 67 percent and basal cell carcinoma by 29 percent.     
    • Indoor tanning before age 24 increases one’s risk of developing basal cell carcinoma by age 50.
  • The estimated cost of treating skin cancers attributable to indoor tanning is $343.1 million a year, leading to a total economic loss of $127.3 billion over the lifetime of those affected.
  • Studies have demonstrated that exposure to UV radiation during indoor tanning damages the DNA in the skin cells. Excessive exposure to UV radiation during indoor tanning can lead to premature skin aging, immune suppression, and eye damage, including cataracts and ocular melanoma. 
    • A recent investigation estimated that 3,234 injuries related to indoor tanning — including burns, loss of consciousness and eye injuries — were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments every year from 2003 to 2012.
  • In addition to the above-mentioned risks, frequent, intentional exposure to UV light may lead to tanning addiction.
    • Research indicates that more than one-fifth of Caucasian women age 18-30 exhibit indoor tanning dependence.          
  • Indoor tanning beds/lamps should be avoided and should not be used to obtain vitamin D because UV radiation from indoor tanning is a risk factor for skin cancer. Vitamin D can be obtained by eating a healthy diet and by taking oral supplements.

Source https://www.aad.org/media/stats/prevention-and-care


Detect Skin Cancer

Anyone can get skin cancer, regardless of skin color. It is estimated that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. When caught early, skin cancer is highly treatable.

You can detect skin cancer early by following dermatologists’ tips for checking your skin. You can download the AAD’s body mole map to document your self-examination.

If you notice a spot that is different from others, or that changes, itches or bleeds, you should make an appointment to see a dermatologist.

      1.    Examine your body front and back in the mirror, then look at the right and left sides with your arms raised.
      2.    Bend elbows and look carefully at forearms, underarms, and palms.
      3.    Look at the backs of your legs and feet, the spaces between your toes, and the soles of your feet.
      4.    Examine the back of your neck and scalp with a hand mirror. Part hair for a closer look.
      5.    Finally, check your back and buttocks with a hand mirror.

 

Source https://www.aad.org/public/spot-skin-cancer/learn-about-skin-cancer/detect


Reducing Risk of Stroke

You can help reduce your risk of stroke by making healthy lifestyle changes.

These are the most important steps you can take to lower your risk of stroke:

·         Keep your blood pressure in the normal range.

·         If you smoke, quit.

·         Keep your blood sugar (glucose) in the normal range.

·         If you have heart disease, treat it.

·         Keep your cholesterol levels in the normal range.

·         Stay at a healthy weight.

·         Get active.

·         Eat healthy.

Making these healthy changes can also help lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes. 

 

Source https://healthfinder.gov/HealthTopics/Category/health-conditions-and-diseases/heart-health/reduce-your-risk-of-stroke


Acting F.A.S.T.

When someone is having a stroke, every minute counts. Just as putting out a fire quickly can stop it from spreading, treating a stroke quickly can reduce damage to the brain. If you learn how to recognize the telltale signs of a stroke, you can act quickly and save a life—maybe even your own.

Acting F.A.S.T. can help stroke patients get the treatments they desperately need. The stroke treatments that work best are available only if the stroke is recognized and diagnosed within 3 hours of the first symptoms. Stroke patients may not be eligible for these if they don’t arrive at the hospital in time.

If you think someone may be having a stroke, act F.A.S.T. and do the following simple test:

·        F—Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

·        A—Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

·        S—Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is the speech slurred or strange?

·        T—Time: If you see any of these signs, call 9-1-1 right away.

Note the time when any symptoms first appear. This information helps health care providers determine the best treatment for each person. Do not drive to the hospital or let someone else drive you. Call an ambulance so that medical personnel can begin life-saving treatment on the way to the emergency room.

Source https://www.cdc.gov/stroke/signs_symptoms.htm


Stoke Signs, Symptoms, and Complications

The signs and symptoms of a stroke often develop quickly. However, they can develop over hours or even days.

The type of symptoms depends on the type of stroke and the area of the brain that’s affected. How long symptoms last and how severe they are vary among different people.

Signs and symptoms of a stroke may include:

·         Sudden weakness

·         Paralysis (an inability to move) or numbness of the face, arms, or legs, especially on one side of the body

·         Confusion

·         Trouble speaking or understanding speech

·         Trouble seeing in one or both eyes

·         Problems breathing

·         Dizziness, trouble walking, loss of balance or coordination, and unexplained falls

·         Loss of consciousness

·         Sudden and severe headache

A transient ischemic attack (TIA) has the same signs and symptoms as a stroke. However, TIA symptoms usually last less than 1–2 hours (although they may last up to 24 hours). A TIA may occur only once in a person’s lifetime or more often.

Stroke Complications

After you’ve had a stroke, you may develop other complications, such as:

·         Blood clots and muscle weakness. Being immobile (unable to move around) for a long time can raise your risk of developing blood clots in the deep veins of the legs. Being immobile also can lead to muscle weakness and decreased muscle flexibility.

·         Problems swallowing and pneumonia. If a stroke affects the muscles used for swallowing, you may have a hard time eating or drinking. You also may be at risk of inhaling food or drink into your lungs. If this happens, you may develop pneumonia.

·         Loss of bladder control. Some strokes affect the muscles used to urinate. You may need a urinary catheter (a tube placed into the bladder) until you can urinate on your own. Use of these catheters can lead to urinary tract infections. Loss of bowel control or constipation also may occur after a stroke.

 

Source https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/stroke


What’s Your Vision of the Future?

Did you know that most vision problems are preventable? It’s true! Vision loss doesn’t have to be a natural part of getting older. Use our everyday tips to help set yourself up for a lifetime of seeing well. 

Wear sunglasses (even on cloudy days!) 

Sure, sunglasses are a great fashion accessory. But more importantly, they can protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays and help keep your vision sharp.  

When shopping for shades, look for a pair that blocks out at least 99% of both UVA and UVB radiation. Bonus: add a wide-brimmed hat when you’re out and about for extra protection! 

Eat eye-healthy foods 

It’s true: carrots are good for your eyes! In fact, a diet rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables — especially dark leafy greens, like spinach or kale — is important for keeping your eyes healthy.  

Research also shows that fish high in omega-3 fatty acids — like salmon, tuna, and halibut — can help protect your vision. 

Get plenty of physical activity 

Regular physical activity comes with a lot of great benefits. It can boost your mood, reduce stress, help you stay at a healthy weight — and protect you from serious eye diseases!  

Anything that gets your heart beating faster can help keep your eyes healthy — try going for a quick jog after work.  

Give your eyes a rest 

Do your eyes ever feel achy at the end of the day? If you spend a lot of time at the computer or staring at your phone, you may forget to blink — and that can tire out your eyes.  

Try using the 20–20–20 rule throughout the day: every 20 minutes, look away from the screens and focus about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds. This reduces eyestrain and helps your eyes (and you!) feel better at the end of the day. 

Protect your eyes — at work and at play 

About 2,000 people in the United States get a serious work-related eye injury every day. And get this: people with sports-related eye injuries end up in the ER every 13 minutes! 

The good news is that you can help protect your eyes from injury by wearing protective eyewear — like safety glasses, goggles, and safety shields. To make sure you have the right kind of protective eyewear and you’re using it correctly, talk with your eye doctor.  

 

Source https://nei.nih.gov/hvm/my-vision-future


Physical Activity for Arthritis

Why is physical activity important for people with arthritis?

 

If you have arthritis, participating in joint-friendly physical activity can improve your arthritis pain, function, mood, and quality of life. Joint-friendly physical activities are low-impact, which means they put less stress on the body, reducing the risk of injury. Examples of joint-friendly activities include walking, biking and swimming. Being physically active can also delay the onset of arthritis-related disability and help people with arthritis manage other chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

Learn how you can increase your physical activity safely.

How much activity do I need?

 

Stay as active as your health allows, and change your activity level depending on your arthritis symptoms. Some physical activity is better than none.

For substantial health benefits, adults with arthritis should follow the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommendations for Active Adult or Active Older Adult, whichever meets your personal health goals and matches your age and abilities. Learn more at the Physical Activity GuidelinesExternal website.

Learn how you can safely exercise and enjoy the benefits of increased physical activity with these S.M.A.R.T. tips.

  • Start low, go slow.
  • Modify activity when arthritis symptoms increase, try to stay active.
  • Activities should be “joint friendly.”
  • Recognize safe places and ways to be active.
  • Talk to a health professional or certified exercise specialist.

Start low, and go slow. When starting or increasing physical activity, start slow and pay attention to how your body tolerates it. People with arthritis may take more time for their body to adjust to a new level of activity. If you are not active, start with a small amount of activity, for example, 3 to 5 minutes 2 times a day. Add activity a little at a time (such as 10 minutes at a time) and allow enough time for your body to adjust to the new level before adding more activity.

Modify activity when arthritis symptoms increase, try to stay active. Your arthritis symptoms, such as pain, stiffness, and fatigue, may come and go and you may have good days and bad days. Try to modify your activity to stay as active as possible without making your symptoms worse.

Activities should be “joint friendly.” Choose activities that are easy on the joints like walking, bicycling, water aerobics, or dancing. These activities have a low risk of injury and do not twist or “pound” the joints too much.

Recognize safe places and ways to be active. Safety is important for starting and maintaining an activity plan. If you are currently inactive or you are not sure how to start your own physical activity program, an exercise class may be a good option. If you plan and direct your own activity, find safe places to be active. For example, walk in an area where the sidewalks or pathways are level and free of obstructions, are well-lighted, and are separated from heavy traffic.

Talk to a health professional or certified exercise specialist. Your doctor is a good source of information about physical activity. Health care professionals and certified exercise professionals can answer your questions about how much and what types of activity match your abilities and health goals.

 

What types of activities should I do?

 

How hard are you working?

 

Measure the relative intensity of your activity with the talk test. In general, if you’re doing moderate activity you can talk, but not sing, during the activity. If you are doing vigorous activity, you will not be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath. Learn more about measuring physical activity intensity.

Low-impact aerobic activities do not put stress on the joints and include brisk walking, cycling, swimming, water aerobics, light gardening, group exercise classes, and dancing.

For major health benefits, do at least:

  • 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, like cycling at less than 10 miles per hour, or
  • 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, like cycling at 10 mph or faster, each week. Another option is to do a combination of both. A rule of thumb is that 1 minute of vigorous-intensity activity is about the same as 2 minutes of moderate-intensity activity.

In addition to aerobic activity, you should also do muscle-strengthening activities that involve all major muscle groups two or more days a week.

Muscle-strengthening exercises include lifting weights, working with resistance bands, and yoga. These can be done at home, in an exercise class, or at a fitness center.

Flexibility exercises like stretching and yoga are also important for people with arthritis. Many people with arthritis have joint stiffness that makes daily tasks difficult. Doing daily flexibility exercises helps maintain range of motion so you can keep doing everyday things like household tasks, hobbies, and visiting with friends and family.

Balance exercises like walking backwards, standing on one foot, and tai chi are important for those who are at a risk of falling or have trouble walking. Do balance exercises 3 days per week if you are at risk of falling. Balance exercises are included in many group exercise classes.

 

What do I do if I have pain during or after exercise?

 

It’s normal to have some pain, stiffness, and swelling after starting a new physical activity program. It may take 6 to 8 weeks for your joints to get used to your new activity level, but sticking with your activity program will result in long-term pain relief.

Here are some tips to help you manage pain during and after physical activity so you can keep exercising:

  • Until your pain improves, modify your physical activity program by exercising less frequently (fewer days per week) or for shorter periods of time (less time each session).
  • Try a different type of exercise that puts less pressure on the joints—for example, switch from walking to water aerobics.
  • Do proper warm-up and cool-down before and after exercise. You can find warm-up and cool-down exercises on the Arthritis Foundation’s Walk With Ease Exercise Videos webpageExternal
  • Exercise at a comfortable pace—you should be able to carry on a conversation while exercising.
  • Make sure you have good fitting, comfortable shoes.

Source https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/physical-activity-overview.html


What Consent Looks Like

What Consent Looks Like

The laws about consent vary by state and situation. It can make the topic confusing, but you don’t have to be a legal expert to understand how consent plays out in real life.

What is consent?

Consent is an agreement between participants to engage in sexual activity. There are many ways to give consent, and some of those are discussed below. Consent doesn’t have to be verbal, but verbally agreeing to different sexual activities can help both you and your partner respect each other’s boundaries.

How does consent work in real life?

When you’re engaging in sexual activity, consent is about communication. And it should happen every time. Giving consent for one activity, one time, does not mean giving consent for increased or recurring sexual contact. For example, agreeing to kiss someone doesn’t give that person permission to remove your clothes. Having sex with someone in the past doesn’t give that person permission to have sex with you again in the future.

You can change your mind at any time.

You can withdraw consent at any point if you feel uncomfortable. It’s important to clearly communicate to your partner that you are no longer comfortable with this activity and wish to stop. The best way to ensure both parties are comfortable with any sexual activity is to talk about it.

Positive consent can look like this:

·         Communicating when you change the type or degree of sexual activity with phrases like “Is this OK?”

·         Explicitly agreeing to certain activities, either by saying “yes” or another affirmative statement, like “I’m open to trying.”

·         Using physical cues to let the other person know you’re comfortable taking things to the next level

It does NOT look like this:

·         Refusing to acknowledge “no”

·         Assuming that wearing certain clothes, flirting, or kissing is an invitation for anything more

·         Someone being under the legal age of consent, as defined by the state

·         Someone being incapacitated because of drugs or alcohol

·         Pressuring someone into sexual activity by using fear or intimidation

·         Assuming you have permission to engage in a sexual act because you’ve done it in the past

If you’ve experienced sexual assault, you’re not alone. To speak with someone who is trained to help, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or chat online at online.rainn.org.

Source https://www.rainn.org/articles/what-is-consent